Breckenridge Texan

County Commissioners enact burn ban, meet with Rep. Rogers

County Commissioners enact burn ban, meet with Rep. Rogers
July 11
21:27 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The Stephens County Commissioners met on Monday morning, July 10, and approved a burn ban for the county, as well as took care of other business. Immediately following the regular meeting, they met with State Representative Glenn Rogers for an update on the Texas Legislature.

Burn Ban

Fire Marshal Wayne McMullen said that he had talked with the county’s fire chiefs and based on the dry conditions and the forecast for continued hot weather, they recommended that a burn ban be put in place.

Stephens County Fire Marshal Wayne McMullen recommended that the commissioners put a burn ban in place. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The official Order Restricting Outdoor Burning went into effect Monday, July 10, will be in place through Oct. 10, unless the commissioners vote to lift it earlier.

The order prohibits the burning of brush, trash, etc.  It does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for firefighter training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager certified under Section 153.048, Natural Resources Code, and meet the standards of Section 153.047, Natural Resources Code.

A violation of the order is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

For more information, call McMullen at 254-559-5322 or the Breckenridge Fire Department at 254-559-8287.

Other Business

Matthew Vinson with Ferrer Poirot Feller and Daniel law firm met with the commissioners via a videoconference call regarding the opioid settlement Stephens County has participated in. According to Vinson, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS have joined the settlement, agreeing to pay Stephens County $25,000 over the course of 6 to 15 years. The commissioner approved the agreement, and County Judge Michael Roach explained that when the funds come in they will be assigned to a special account that can be used only for specific uses, such as opioid mitigation, drug treatment, etc.

Matthew Vinson (onscreen) with Ferrer Poirot Feller Daniel law firm met with the commissioners via videoconferencing about the opioid settlement. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

They also voted to approve the following:

  • The County’s health and employee benefits pool renewal
  • A motion to apply for a grant for the replacement/relocation of the automated weather observation system at the Stephens County Airport
  • Changes to the county’s per diem rules for employee travel
  • The purchase of Jaws of Life equipment for the Breckenridge Fire Department; the City of Breckenridge will pay for half of the cost.
  • Amendments to the Fiscal Year 2023 budget
  • A survey plat on North Jackson Street provided by Owen Surveying
  • Road crossings on County Roads 274, 278, 279 and 287 in Precinct 4 by Bluefin Water Solutions to transport fresh water to complete oil and gas wells
  • The County Treasurer’s expenditure report

Stephens County Deputy Treasurer Mary O’Dell, center, talks to the commissioners about the reimbursements County employees receive when they travel. Pictured, from left are Commissioner Will Warren, County Clerk Jackie Ensey, Mary O’Dell, Commissioners Mark McCullough and David Fambro, and County Judge Michael Roach. Not pictured is Commissioner Eric O’Dell. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Legislative Update

Shortly after the regular County Commissioner meeting, Glenn Rogers, the representative for Texas House District 60, which includes Stephens, Palo Pinto and Parker counties, met the commissioners in the District Courtroom. He discussed several legislative topics and asked for input from the commissioners about what concerns the residents of Stephens County have.

“The good news is we’re gonna get the largest property tax relief in Texas history,” Rogers said Monday morning. By Monday afternoon leaders from the Texas Senate and House of Representatives had announced that they had come to an agreement on the property tax bill and expect the $18 billion package to be signed into law soon.

After this special legislative session is finished, Rogers said, there will likely be another special session on teacher pay raises and school vouchers. He also addressed the topics of the U.S.-Mexico border, water in Texas, and the House of Representatives recent vote to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Rogers said he will be coming back to Breckenridge soon for a townhall-type meeting with local residents. Joining the representative for the meeting were Gary Norman, the district director for House District 60, and Kynnley Herrington of Caddo, a summer intern for Rogers.

Texas Representative Glenn Rogers, House District 60, met with the Stephens County Commissioners Court after their regular meeting on Monday, July 11. Pictured, from left, Kynnley Herrington, Glenn Rogers, Commissioners Eric O’Dell, David Fambro and Will Warren, and County Judge Michael Roach. Not pictured are Rogers’ district director Gary Norman and Commissioner Mark McCullough. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: State Rep. Glenn Rogers, center, listens to Stephens County Commissioner Will Warren on Monday morning when he met with the commissioners. Pictured, from left, are Commissioner Warren, District 60 Director Gary Norman, Glenn Rogers, Commissioners Mark McCullough and David Fambro, and County Judge Michael Roach. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)




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